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AAAS Preliminary Analysis of R&D in the FY 2004 Budget
A preliminary analysis of the Bush Administration's budget request for FY 2004 reports that the economic climate and proposed tax cuts will have a sobering impact on many of the programs funded by federal R&D dollars.
"In a budget that proposes record deficits for this year and next, an additional $1.5 trillion package of tax cuts over the next decade, continuing increases in defense spending and new entitlement spending, the Bush proposal calls for only modest increases in domestic programs not related to homeland security, with the consequences of reduced expectations for many R&D programs," according to the AAAS report.
The FY 2004 budget calls for an increase of 2.5 percent in discretionary spending from the FY 2003 budget, which was just completed (see final R&D appropriations) on 20 February. Most of the increase would go to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would now have an R&D budget of $1 billion. NIH, which has received generous increases over the past five years, would share in the general belt-tightening felt by most other R&D funding agencies.
"The FY 2003 budget sets a very high standard, and in comparison the budget for FY 2004 does not look good," says Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.
Nonetheless, the request for R&D in FY 2004, if approved, would hit a new record of $122.3 billion, or 4.4 percent more than in FY 2003. Most of the increase would support the development of new weapons systems; total research, basic and applied, would increase by only 1.3 percent to $58.9 billion.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which had been on track to have its budget doubled over the next five years, will find itself falling "far short" of authorized increases. Rather than the 15 percent originally authorized for FY 2003 and FY 2004, NSF receives 10 percent in FY 2003, and would receive 3.2 percent in FY 2004.
For more information, see the AAAS Analysis of R&D in the FY 2004 Budget.
28 February 2003